So the club finally announced the Podolski to Inter deal yesterday, after he was picture in an Inter shirt, scarf, outside the ground and thanking everyone for making it happen. I have to say I did find it somewhat amusing that it isn’t just the incoming announcements that we always seem to announce on the site until the whole world knows anyway. I take comfort in that fact.
Perhaps there is literally one guy at Arsenal who does ALL the paperwork? That would explain why it takes so long. After all, faxing through so many papers must be a real toil.
Of course I’m being a little bit tongue-in-cheek this morning, but with a very effective bench option now displaced, it’s a little bit sad that somebody with such an effervescent nature and ruthless finish just didn’t quite have that final extra parts to his game to be a superstar. I’m not even talking about technique. Imagine if Podolski had the same engine as Alexis? If he was able to zip backwards and forwards along he left hand side of the pitch, helping out defensively, but also able to get into positions like he did for us on a more regular basis? He’d probably still be an integral part of the team. We know that Arsène likes his team’s to be technically sound, but you can’t tell me that if there was somebody who was a cold-bloodied killer in front of goal, that just lacked an ability to pick a pass but was able to contribute both defensively and offensively, that Arsène wouldn’t have given him more game time? Even this season when we have the options we have, I still think that more application would have seen Poldi have at least an additional half a dozen games.
He would probably have been able to find himself in better positions too, if he’d have pushed himself more physically. His positioning in the final third was never that bad, but quite often we’d find him exchange passes with other players in the middle of the park, then when it came to the sharp end of the pitch, he would be lagging behind a little bit. Imagine if his work rate allowed him to be more involved in the play all over the pitch? What a player he could have been.
It’s a strange one too because usually, when a player gets his marching orders from Arsène, it’s been because he has no future and the fans have had enough of said player anyway. We haven’t sold a ‘star’ in a few years, just squad players like Vermaelen and Gervinho, so to see a player who still has a rapport with the fans as well as a clear value at the club (albeit with finished responsibility over the last year or so), means that many are still split over whether we should have gone against the players wishes and kept him until the summer. You can bet you’re bottom dollar Jose would have done that. But then again, he is a tosser and cares not for player desires, rightly or wrongly.
Anyway, he’s out on loan now and, at 29, that loan isn’t so he can win a place back in the Arsenal team in the summer. He’s going to be putting himself in the shop window and good luck to him on that front. I guess the positive is that because we still hold his papers, we can be sure that we don’t sell him to an English club who he will then almost inevitably score against us, at every opportunity he gets.
The opportunity for Campbell and Akpom now is clear. With Sanogo likely to disappear on loan for game time, those two along with Theo, have one less player to navigate around to get into the starting XI. There’s no doubt Theo will see more than the other two, but I just wonder if Akpom doesn’t fancy his chances, especially as he’s tended to get on a little bit more than Campbell has this season. We shall see.
What we’ll also be seeing towards the end of January, is a replay of the 2013 FA Cup game between Brighton and Arsenal, as both teams were drawn out of the velvet bag of balls yesterday. Of course it was a little bit too much to ask for Cambridge United at home, as Louis van Gaal snaffled up the world supply of rabbits feet and four leaf clovers before the draw was announced, but whilst an away trip to the south coast might be a tricky encounter, you’d have to fancy our chances. Bring on ex-spud Hughton I say!
That’s pretty much it from me today. Nowt else worth talking about, especially as we have to wait a whole five days before we see The Arsenal again. We won’t see any transfers for another three weeks, so there’s no point even bothering to speculate on that part of football.